Dodge Expands 2011 Durango Lineup with Sporty Heat Trim

By Automotive Staff | May 24, 2011
With an overwhelming number of full-size crossover SUVs offered today, Dodge hopes to distinguish its 2011 Durango with a new trim level called Heat. The Durango -- also available in trims called Express, Crew, R/T, CrewLux, and Citadel -- is a seven-passenger crossover that comes in rear- and all-wheel-drive forms. That's in contrast to most of the Durango's front-wheel-drive based competitors, which also don't feature an optional V-8 engine. The 2011 Dodge Durango Heat makes the most of the crossover's inherent fun-to-drive characteristics with a few careful tweaks. What doesn't change is the Pentastar V-6 engine also found in Chrysler products like the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Avenger. In the Durango Heat, the 3.6-liter V-6 engine makes 295 horsepower at 6350 rpm (5 horsepower more than other trims) and 260 pound-feet of torque at 4500 rpm. Like all other 2011 Durangos, a five-speed automatic is the only available transmission.
Only the most dedicated enthusiasts are likely to consider the Durango Heat, which removes the third row of seating to reduce weight. Special 20-inch wheels, a 20-mm lower ride height, a tuned dual exhaust, and special suspension tuning make this trim more substantial than just a couple of badges. Rear-wheel drive is standard on the Durango Heat, which carries a starting price of $31,145. Add $2000 for all-wheel drive. Those who don't want or can't afford the V-8 Durango R/T might like the Durango Heat's color-matched body kit, fog lights, tweaked grille, and dark headlight surrounds. Fuel economy of the 2011 Durango Heat matches other V-6 models at 16/23 mpg city/highway with rear-wheel drive and 16/22 mpg using all-wheel drive. The few buyers who will sacrifice a third row of seating for a slightly more nimble SUV can get a Durango Heat in the spring of 2011. by Zach Gale